Author Topic: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?  (Read 1944 times)

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smilinmimi

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Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« on: October 11, 2013, 04:51:28 PM »
By similar, I mean hometown feel with big city amenities. Lots of music venues, good local restaurants, many parks and greenbelts, and friendly people.

jmarvellous

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 05:14:17 PM »
Having lived of late in Austin, I'm wondering why you're asking!

I think of it as a place where the sprawl is incredible, everything is brand new or close to it, a lot of the life is built around a university (and thus very young and hip), and the growth is suffocating. On top of everything you mentioned, of course.

I guess I doubt there's a place "like" it in the UK because it's so young, and growing so quickly. It'd be hard to have a similar place in a more 'settled' country.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 08:49:38 PM »
Why so negative???  ???  OP asked if there were cities with amenities that can be found in many places.  It sounds like the OP is looking for a place that gives them the same feeling as Austin (hence the amenities) I don't think she was looking for a re-incarnated version of Austin in another country.

I've been to London and Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Inverness in the UK, but surely they can't be the only cities that have music venues, good restaurants, parks, and friendly people?    I think Manchester is a great place to live.  I really liked the people there and there was a ton of stuff to do
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 08:57:19 PM by PastryGoddess »

jmarvellous

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 09:18:31 PM »
Oh, I'm sorry if I came across as negative. I am just wondering whether those are the only aspects the OP is looking for.

A city can be a lot of things to different people,  that's all. Which details you're looking for and why you're looking for them will certainly shape replies.

perpetua

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 06:59:03 AM »
I've never been to the US and I'm sure it's very different in terms of architecture and geograhpy, but for the characteristics the OP describes the first place that springs to mind is Bristol. It's a wonderful city. It's not overly big so it doesn't have the impersonality of somewhere like London, but the amenities are great and because it's in the South West the people are legendarily friendly. There are two universities so it's young and vibrant but also historic, and the music scene is great. Lots of local bands and live venues. And I can heartily recommend Don Giovanni's Italian restaurant near to Temple Meads Station :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 07:02:30 AM by perpetua »

mechtilde

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 08:53:42 AM »
Newcastle upon Tyne. I moved up to this are 22 years ago and never left. They still call it "The Toon" (the town) even though it has officially been a city for over 100 years. The people are very friendly. Lots of parks, museums, galleries and music venues in Newcastle and on the south side of the river in Gateshead. There's even a herd of cattle living just outside the city centre- they are owned by the freemen of the city, as are the fields where they graze. It's called The Town Moor, and the ancient rights of the freemen are what prevented the land from being built on.

There are two universities, so there's a young population, a strong local music tradition, great food, lovely scenery just outside the city, and beaches you can reach easily on the local light railway system.

As a bonus there are two world heritage sites (Hadrian's Wall and Durham Cathedral) nearby; the city's 14th century walls are still intact in places, there are amazing buildings from the 12th century to the present day and the New Castle itself? Still there, but not very new these days...

http://www.newcastlegateshead.com/
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123sandy

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 09:22:50 AM »
I've never been to Austin but going by what you're looking for, I'd recommend Edinburgh.

emwithme

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 09:25:02 AM »
Definitely Bristol.  I moved to the South West about ten years ago and have lived in (or within spitting distance of) Bristol that whole time.  There are *still* new things for me to see and do (and old favourites, of course).

The architecture in certain areas, particularly Clifton Village which is mostly Georgian, is gorgeous.  There's not much beats the view from Royal York Crescent (I used to live in the middle of the crescent, in a top floor flat.  I miss that flat and those views.  I do not miss the 67 steps to get there, or the scrum for parking!).  There's also lots of new building going on, particularly apartments being built along the harbourside

There are lots of parks and "hidden" green areas.  One of my favourites is Queen Square, which is right in the centre of town.  It's nice and peaceful most of the time - occasionally there are events there with big screens (they showed the Olympics there and people brought deckchairs to sit and watch them) and at (sunny) lunchtimes in the week it fills up with office workers eating.

In terms of culture, there's something for everyone.  The Bristol Hippodrome has both regional and national tours and the ENO and WNO come at least annually.  Colston Hall has music performances of every type, and there's some great smaller music venues - particularly The Fleece, who have both up and coming bands, tribute acts and some surprisingly large names playing for a really small venue.  There's a permanent street-art project and Bristol is the home of Banksy!

There's the ss Great Britain, the world's first iron hulled steam ship (this is where I got married last year) and Clifton Suspension Bridge, both designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 

In terms of shopping, there's Cabot Circus (in the centre of town) which has shops, restaurants and a cinema, as well as various out-of-town retail parks and lots of local high streets offering independent shops as well as the larger, national chains. 

There's two universities (Bristol University and The University of the West of England), lots of major employers (including Rolls Royce and many legal and financial services firms have offices here), the airport is only half an hour outside of town and the train links you to Birmingham in 90 minutes and London in just under two hours.  Bath is next door, and Glastonbury is near enough for a day trip.  The countryside and coast are both within a 45 minute drive. 

http://visitbristol.co.uk/

faithlessone

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 01:41:13 PM »
My first thought was Bristol as well, and not just because it's where I live. ;D

perpetua

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2013, 01:43:57 PM »
Lots of votes for Bristol  :D

It's ace, it's got such a lovely vibe to it, and it's pretty, too.

(I nearly moved there a couple of years ago; looked at a lovely house in Fishponds. Got as far as filling in an application but sadly it was let to someone else, I think the guy had about 35 people apply for it, which gives an indication of how popular the place is)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 01:45:41 PM by perpetua »

cabbageweevil

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2013, 01:47:58 PM »
I'll join in with the chorus in support of Bristol -- am maybe prejudiced-in-favour, by relatives of mine having lived there; perhaps influenced by memories of happy holidays with them.  Strikes me, anyway, as a splendidly vibrant city, with a variety of differently-delightful "hinterlands".

Tini

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2013, 01:49:25 PM »
I used to live in Chippenham and loved going into Bristol to shop and wander around, and my husband used to go there from Newport to go to gigs. Nice place. Isn't it a bit dear, though? I mean, even for British prices?

perpetua

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2013, 02:16:39 PM »
Heh, small world, the guy I nearly moved to Bristol to be with worked in Chippenham. Another pretty little place.

Bristol seems cheap to me, but it's all relative compared to London.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2013, 11:11:52 PM »
OP if you need someone to go and scope out Bristol ahead of time, just let me know :)

cabbageweevil

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Re: Is there a city similar to Austin, TX in the UK?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2013, 03:51:37 PM »
One of the various good things about Bristol is that just 20 / 25 miles to the west of it, on the other side of the wide estuary of the River Severn, you're in Wales -- neighbour country of England, part of the United Kingdom but very much its own place, with its own culture (and its own language, though same is more spoken further north in Wales). The estuary is crossed by a couple of road bridges, or by a tunnel if you should choose to travel by train.